Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Summer Vacation: Part One, The Journey

For the past few summers, we've had a Summer To Do List, filled with fun and meaningful activities that we try to accomplish over the summer. This summer, we had one main goal, with about a bazillion little "to dos." RELOCATE. New job, new house, new city, new state, new health insurance, new doctors, new dentists, new friends, new license plates, new drivers licenses, new grocery store, new everything. Okay, so we didn't change our names...

We told the kids it would be an adventure. The details are already getting fuzzy. We made the decision to relocate on May 29th. Noah was six weeks old. Three days later we had our first meeting with our realtor, who would help us sell our house. Some of my MOMS Club friends managed to throw together an extremely touching going away party for me (thanks, T!) and a couple even got me the sweetest, most meaningful little gift that I treasure (thanks, K and S!). Justin and I (mostly Justin) scurried around prepping the house for sale, doing repairs, putting stuff in storage, and staging. Just two and a half weeks after making the decision, the kids and I left for Pennsylvania, with me crying all the way out of our Frederick neighborhood.

In order to use the space of the van wisely, Alexander and Jack rode with my dad, who was helpful enough to be escorting us up to the hotel where we would be living temporarily, for up to three months while we waited for our house in MD to sell. I had Noah and Kai with me, along with most of the selected belongings that we had chosen to bring to the hotel. Justin was going to stay in MD for an extra day to finish staging the house without the hurricane we call our sons ruining it at every step of the way.

I think we were probably three quarters of the way there when I got separated from my dad. I went through a yellow light I didn't think I could stop for, and he got stuck behind. My van was driving really weird, oddly sluggish. It kept getting weirder and weirder. Eventually it got to the point where I was on the highway, flooring it, and only going about 40 mph. The people around me were not amused. I was not amused, either. There were jersey walls and construction all around. I had very little idea where I was and I had my two little babies to think of. I was way too nervous to just stop on the highway, even though I was very nervous that the van would just STOP, and there I'd be in the middle of the road.

I managed to make it to the exit that I needed to take to get to the hotel, but I was scared to keep driving. I pulled into an empty parking lot. I couldn't even see the street signs. I debated getting the kids out and walking down to look at the street signs, but I don't think I even had the stroller with me and there were no sidewalks. I didn't feel safe. I honestly did not know what to do with myself. I called the hotel to ask them to let my dad into the room if he got there first. Then I called Justin for advice, but he didn't pick up, busy painting and fixing up the house as he was. There were so many issues with calling a tow truck (not knowing where I was, not knowing how I'd get myself and the kids to the hotel), that I wasn't sure that was the best choice. Eventually, I decided to see if the little rest the van had gotten while I thought about things had done it any good. I had figured out with the help of my GPS that I was only about a half mile from the hotel (I could have walked there, but again: no stroller, no sidewalks, two babies). I tried out the van in the parking lot and it did seem a bit less sluggish, so I decided to give it a go. I managed to get to the hotel, check in, and take the kids up to the room.

Where I discovered that we had no bedrooms doors. And a scary loft that I thought my kids might throw themselves over. And that my dad wasn't there yet. I couldn't really even unload the car because of Kai and Noah. I finally talked to Justin and he told me to just chill. Just sit and wait for my dad. So I did. He got there about a half an hour later, having gotten lost and stopped to ask for directions I think twice. He was nice enough to unload the car for me, and stay overnight with us until Justin got there. He even went and picked up some groceries so we could actually eat. 

The next day Justin arrived in the afternoon and we got the van dropped off at a nearby mechanic. The day after that, he started his new job. And there we all were, living in a hotel in Pennsylvania, KIND OF starting our new lives.

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